Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Different News

I usually page through Time magazine when it arrives, reading the quotes, the political cartoons, and the Numbers column before tackling anything else. This immediately caught my eye:
72%: Proportion of US troops in Iraq who say a total pullout should occur in the next year.
85%: Proportion who say the main mission in Iraq is to retaliate for Saddam's role in 9/11
I'm not surprised at the first number, I've seen the results of the Zogby poll. Zogby does good work and has been a consistent source of data for years.

But the second? Can 85% of the soldiers actually believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11? Was it a badly worded question? Are they just 'toeing the party line" and giving the answer they are instructed to?

What are they being told?

Wait -- add to this the reports that there are websites being blocked from computers in Iraq (offficial computers, but it's not important which computers are being affected, but which websites are being blocked -- and more importantly, which ones are not.) and it suddenly seems plausible that most of the troops in Iraq believe this:

Bill O'Reilly's show, Rush Limbaugh, and the G. Gordon Liddy websites are not blocked. Air America, Al Franken, Wonkette are blocked. The message from Air America?
“Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”
And Rush Limbaugh is not 'Internat Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion'? Looks like someone is carefully filtering out any information that doesn't fit what the administration is saying. That certainly might account for the fact that 85% of troops believe that Saddam was involved in 9/11 -- when that particular "fact" is utterly false and clearly proven to be so.

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